The 69th Precinct announces an initiative to increase awareness of all youth, especially those with special needs.
Unlike their peers, youth with autism are considerably more likely to be misunderstood, especially during encounters with police officers.
To eliminate any such misunderstandings, Commanding Officer Terrell Andersen of the 69pct. invited Lucina Clarke Executive Director My Time Inc. and Charles Lightfoot, Executive Director Brooklyn Junior Autistic Golfers Academy to develop an autism awareness outreach program.
The Commanding Officer, Captain Anderson, led the discussion, with Community Affairs Officers Samuel Maria and Eton White also present. The goal of this meeting was to explore how they could combine their resources to develop closer relationships with families with children who suffer with autism.
Community Affairs Officers, Samuel Maria and Eton White, have already established pathways of communication with residents through Community Council Meetings and appear eager to inform residents about the outreach program.
The programs main purpose is to identify and connect with children in the community who have special needs. “Every officer in this department would benefit from a personal understanding of the challenges associated with special needs youth,” said Captain Anderson.
These challenges often result from a lack of awareness and understanding about autism. Having prior knowledge of a person’s special needs, such as autism, assists police officers in fostering a deeper understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders among residents and implementing interactive tools to assess the mental health risk of a situation.
The group will be meeting again in two weeks. If you wish to support a Brooklyn Junior Autistic Golfer’s Academy summer program, please contact BJAGA@earthlink.net or call 917-200-7702. www.bjaga.net